Asa Carter and Forrest Carter couldn’t have been more different. But they shared a secret.
The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter, is an iconic best-selling book, with a message about living in harmony with nature, and compassion for people of all kinds. But the story behind the book is very different. It begins with the most infamous racist political speech in American history.
This week on the podcast, the true story of the untrue story of The Education of Little Tree.
This story originally aired on This American Life in 2014.
When Ground Zero was Radio Row
On the 20th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, we’re bringing you a story about the World Trade Center. But it isn’t about the attacks, or about everything that came after. Instead, it’s about what came before 9/11.
A century ago, before the twin towers were built, the neighborhood now known as Ground Zero was home to the largest collection of radio and electronics stores in the world. Back then, it was known as Radio Row.
Last Witness: The Kerner Commission
Decades before our current debate over critical race theory, the 1968 Kerner Report pointed the finger at structural racism for creating the conditions that had triggered a series of protests in Black communities across the United States in the summer of 1967.
Former Senator Fred Harris is the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, a group appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the protests and author the report.
This story is a part of our Last Witness series, audio portraits of the last surviving witnesses to major historical events.
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Prisoners of War
During the war in Vietnam, there was a notorious American military prison on the outskirts of Saigon, called Long Binh Jail. But LBJ wasn’t for captured enemy fighters. It was for American soldiers.
These were men who had broken military law, and there were a lot of them. As the unpopular war dragged on, discipline frayed and soldiers started to rebel. Some were there for serious crimes, others for small stuff, like refusing to get a haircut.
By the summer of 1968, LBJ had become extremely overcrowded. Originally built to house 400 inmates, it became crammed with over 700 men. On August 29th, 1968, the situation erupted.
This episode originally aired on NPR in 2018.
The Gospel Ranger
This is the story of a song, “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down.” It was written by a 12-year-old boy on what was supposed to be his deathbed. But the boy didn’t die. Instead, he went on to become a Pentecostal preacher, and later helped inspire the birth of Rock & Roll.
The boy’s name was Brother Claude Ely, and he was known as The Gospel Ranger.
Also, we remember Joe Newman from our Hunker Down Diaries series, who passed away this week at 108 years old.
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